The presence of Universitas Muslim Indonesia (UMI) Makassar, has not been shaken as one of the oldest private Islamic university, the largest and leading in Eastern Indonesia. The grandeur of the university is apparent from the scientific and professional aspects colored by ethics, moral and intellectual based on Islamic identity. It is no wonder if UMI today remains the pride of Muslims in eastern Indonesia. UMI is also the only accredited private university in Eastern Indonesia with accreditation number: 036/BAN-PT/Ak-I/Ins/III/2008, and it is the only private university in Eastern Indonesia which has been entrusted to manage Doctoral Education (S3).
The establishment of UMI begun from concern and worry of the community leaders and Islamic scholars in South Sulawesi, especially in Makassar since there had been no Islamic university at that time, whereas the majority of the population are Muslims. By seeing this reality, and realized by the community leaders and scholars in Makassar, that if the condition is left, the children of the nation in this region (Sulawesi) will be left behind in education if we compared it with other areas, while the potential of the teachers in Makassar is sufficient to open a university.
Eventually, in the mid-1953, the idea to establish Islamic university had started rolling, some community leaders contacted the king in the area such as H.Andi Mappanyukki (King of Bone), H.Andi Jemma (King of Luwu) Andi Ijo karaeng Lalolang (King of Gowa) and Pajonga Karaeng Polongbangkeng (well-known leader in the area Polongbangkeng). Also, the plan is also submitted to the Governor of South Sulawesi and the Mayor of Makassar. The idea was well received, and the king and the government are ready to help to achieve this noble idea.
As a follow-up plan to open Islamic University in Makassar, therefore a foundation was established and called ‘Yayasan Wakaf Pembangunan Universitas Muslim Indonesia’ on February 18th, 1953. Now, it is referred to as the Board of UMI Foundation (YW-UMI). Entrusted as General Chairman was Sutan Muhammad Yusuf Samah, Chairman I H.Andi Sewang Dg.Muntu, Chairman II: Naziruddin Rahmat, the General Secretary: Abdul Waris, and Assistant Secretary: Andi Madaremmeng.
Their worry began to disappear when the community leaders, Islamic scholars and kings (government) in Sulawesi agreed to establish an Islamic institution under the name “Universitas Muslim Indonesia.” The inauguration of the establishment of UMI Makassar was done by the governor of Makassar on June 23rd, 1954 coincided with 22 Syawal 1373 H, which is characterized by signing the Charter principle of UMI by KH Muhammad Ramly (Council of Grand Master), La Ode Munarfa (Board of Curators), Sutan Muhammad Samah (Wakaf) and Chalid Hussain (Secretary), witnessed by SN Turangan (Deputy Minister of P and K), H. Muhammad Akib (representative of Religion Ministry), Andi Burhanuddin (represented the Governor of South Sulawesi) and Dara Ahmad Syahruddin (Mayor of Makassar).
The name of Universitas Muslim Indonesia means a university that developing Islamic community, in the Arabic language, it is called Jamiatul Muslimina Indonesiyah means movement gathered Muslims and in English, it is called the Muslim University of Indonesia means university belongs to Islamic community of Indonesia.
UMI which is fostered by the Board of UMI Foundation with its typical feature as an educational and religious proselytizing (Dakwah) institution is responsible for wider task than just produces graduates, since education process at UMI provides knowledge and skill based on knowledge pursued and provides added value to the students through the development of the Islamic faith, Islamic ethics and enlightenment of mind as a foundation for the future. Academic activities at UMI have implemented quality assurance according to the standard set up by the government. Hopefully, UMI will produce excellent, qualified, and Islamic human resources.